NHS Staff Fight for Royal Wedding Holiday Pay
The National Health Service (NHS) and its health staff are caught up in a row over extra pay during the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The big day (April 29) has been made a bank holiday by the government, but the health system is refusing to pay staff around the country extra for working on the day. However, officials say they are letting as many people as possible have a paid holiday, while those that have to work will get a day off in lieu.
One area that is being hit is Derbyshire. Hospital director of human resources Karen Martin notes that the extra day off in lieu will cost the service £687,000. The staff acknowledge that vital services need to operate on the day, but they are pleased for the extra paid day off. However, due to the holiday, some services will be closed. Services that operate in the county include the pharmacy, labour ward, emergency theatres, diagnostics and cancer services, she added.
Rachael Maskell, the national officer for health at Unite, the largest union in Britain, has been cited saying that many of the NHS’s trusts are refusing to pay bank holiday rates to those working on the big day, despite the huge pressure and dedication of staff. Six-figure-salary executives are refusing to acknowledge the spirit of the wedding, which the government has granted an extra bank holiday to mark. There is still time to do the right thing and acknowledge the valuable contribution that these workers make.